A Salinas pastor is accused of molesting three children over a 10-year period, the District Attorney's Office said Friday.

Frank Martinez, 77, is charged with five felony counts of molesting a child under the age of 14, said Chief Assistant District Attorney Terry Spitz.

Some of the acts took place in 2000, and others through 2010, Spitz said.

Martinez was arrested Dec. 12 by Salinas police and entered a not guilty plea to all counts.

Colleagues in the local clergy community, who asked not to be named, said they were shocked to learn of the charges.

Martinez was known for years as a non-denominational pastor in various Salinas churches.

At one point he ran a Christian center in Salinas where he counseled people struggling with drugs, alcohol and other personal problems.

After that, acquaintances said, he was the pastor at a small church in Salinas, but gave that up due to illness.

Court records show Martinez's bail is set at $1.76million.

Julia Reynolds can be reached at 648-1187 or jreynolds@montereyherald.com.


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